Program Manager (Kenya- Coastal and Ocean Resilience (COR))

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Nairobi, , KE

The IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) operates in twenty-four countries in the Horn of Africa, east Africa, southern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. ESARO’s Programme focuses on biodiversity conservation through a diverse portfolio of projects and programmatic initiatives. ESARO defines and delivers on its programmatic priorities in collaboration with IUCN members, commissions and other strategic partners. The Coastal and Ocean Resilience (COR) Programme is in charge of marine and coastal issues.

The world is about to enter into a decisive period of its history. The next 10 years (2020-2030) will determine the future of our and the next generations for centuries. Unprecedented challenges require unprecedented solutions. Aware of this reality, IUCN ESARO has therefore decided to redesign its WIO coastal and marine resilience program so that it can address efficiently current challenges. This new programme aims at implementing IUCN ESARO’s Blue Resilience Framework constituted of 3 key pillars: Blue Planet, Blue People and Blue Partnerships.

The Blue Planet pillar aims at securing the integrity of critical blue natural capital features. This pillar focuses on supporting the establishment and increase effectiveness conservation measures. Areas of work include Marine Protected Areas, Locally Managed Marine Areas and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.

The Blue People pillar aims at increasing ocean and coastal conservation benefits for the people as well as increasing ocean and coastal stewardship among stakeholders. Areas of work include supporting the establishment and development of sustainable and resilient seascapes, a blue economy and coastal livelihoods.

Because overcoming today’s challenges will require all parties to join forces in order to dramatically increase the level of impact, we believe that innovative and ambitious partnerships will be a critical piece of the solution. Setting-up such type of partnerships is IUCN’s DNA. The Blue Partnerships pillar therefore aims at supporting the establishment of these factors of acceleration so that coastal and ocean conservation can be achieved at scale. Areas of work include innovative conservation finance, science, technology and communication.

In 2018, Kenya hosted the first International Sustainable Blue Economy conference and has since then continuously shown great leadership in its endeavors to make the sustainable blue economy a reality for the country and its people. Such sustainability will only be achieved if it fully integrates inclusivity and biodiversity conservation principles at its core. As such, IUCN has developed a program that aims at supporting the strengthening of socio-ecological resilience of marine and coastal areas in the country. The program places at its core the importance of the role that local stakeholders can and should play in marine and coastal resources management and ocean stewardship. IUCN has currently 3 projects in its Kenya COR portfolio. The Locally Empowered Area of Protection (LEAP) initiative that aims at building socio-ecological resilience by supporting the establishment and strengthening of Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs) and therefore support the development of an inclusive and resilient blue economy for the country. The Save Our Mangrove Now (SOMN) initiatives aims at supporting ambitious commitments to protect and restore mangrove areas as critical ecosystems for local livelihoods, fisheries, disaster risk reduction, tourism, etc. The MARPLASTICCs initiative aims at addressing the marine plastic pollution challenge by identifying plastic leakages at country level and by supporting measures to reducing these leakages as well as marine plastic-based circular economy initiatives.


This position reports directly to the IUCN ESARO’s Kenya Country Representative, with line coordination to the COR RTC. He/she will serve as a senior member of the regional coastal and ocean program that helps set strategic directions and define priorities for IUCN engagement on marine and coastal issues in the region.

The Program Manager, COR will be directly responsible for the development, resourcing, and management of IUCN COR Programme activities in Kenya, ensuring that they are coherent and consistent with IUCN’s “one programme” approach, build on and align with IUCN ESARO’s Blue Resilience Framework and add value to nationally defined priorities. The The Program Manager, COR will also provide additional support on activities in the broader WIO region when required, in close collaboration with the COR RTC and other relevant IUCN programmes, Members, Commissions and partners. For Kenya, the The Program Manager, COR is responsible for: i) Guiding the strategic direction and development of the thematic area, including development and marketing of project proposals with donors (including multi-country proposal when opportune and relevant); ii) Ensuring that programmatic activities within the thematic area are effectively and efficiently implemented; iii) Promoting learning, knowledge generation and innovation within both the thematic area and in relation to the ESARO Intersessional Programme and Strategy; and iv) Ensuring that progress and performance of the COR programme in the country is regularly monitored and evaluated.


The Program Manager, COR is directly responsible for leading the strategic direction of IUCN’s COR Programme in Kenya, in line with the Country Strategy, ESARO Intersessional Programme and the regional COR Programme Strategy – positioning IUCN as a lead technical body.

More specifically, this involves:

Strategic management;

In collaboration with the COR RTC, Kenya Country Representative facilitate the strategic development of the COR Country thematic Programme,;
In collaboration with the COR RTC, develop and maintain strong strategic partnerships with in-country programmes, global programme units, members, commissions, technical partners, policy bodies and donors and work closely with and other thematic programmes to develop and maintain an appropriate project portfolio and funding for implementation of the country programme;
Oversee the development and implementation of any relevant marine and coastal initiative in the country and provide where needed, guidance and support to the development and implementation of other IUCN Initiatives;
Ensure that IUCN is adequately represented in relevant country fora and negotiations on marine and coastal issues and facilitate discussions on relevant marine and coastal emerging issues to position IUCN as a reference in both countries; Provide additional support at regional and international level when required and in close coordination with the COR RTC
Developing, coordinating and supervising COR programme country team (project officers) to ensure that individuals work together as an integrated team, that there is coherence and consistency in programmatic outputs and a high quality of technical advice is given to IUCN global and regional programmes, field programmes, projects, members and partners;

Project management;

Ensure that IUCN’s COR work in the country is of high technical quality, based on good science and drawing upon state of the art thinking and knowledge
Convene regular meetings with project staff and other technical partners (including implementing partners) to review progress on projects as well as cost recovery and provide monthly reports to the COR RTC.
Coordination and implementation of activities of the Save Our Mangroves Now 2.0 (SOMN 2.0) project, including (i) lead the planning and implementation of project activities; (ii) define project tasks and resource requirements; (iii) develop full scale project plans; (iv) manage project budget and resource allocation; (v) plan and schedule project timelines; (vi) track project deliverables using appropriate tools and (vii) constantly monitor and report on progress of the project to all stakeholders;
In close collaboration with the COR RTC, support coordination and implementation of activities under the Locally Empowered Areas of Protection (LEAP) project. LEAP is a multi-country project, covering Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Seychelles as well as having regional level activities. It is expected that the The Program Manager, COR will support coordination of project activities for both Kenya and Tanzania in order to enhance synergies and coherence of activities in and between both countries. Activities in Tanzania are implemented in close collaboration with IUCN Tanzania country office.
Providing technical advice, guidance and support to other marine and coastal projects (eg. MARPLASTICCs), as well as to other thematic lead;
Ensuring that project/programme strategies and workplans are developed and implemented according to plan and commitments to partners and donors (including assuring quality of performance & progress, timing and budget);
Capitalize and disseminate to key decision-makers within the country and region, lessons learnt from programmes and projects as well as those learnt from partners;
Working closely with the Finance and Administration Department as well as Human Resource focal point to ensure that projects/programme are financially viable and have the necessary human and other resources necessary for effective implementation; and
Ensuring that contractual obligations and IUCN’s policies and procedures are efficiently adhered to.
Ensure that all project portals and related IUCN systems are kept up to date
In close coordination with the COR RTC and the Regional Communication officer, ensure that IUCN’s work is effectively shared (including by producing high quality communication material) and communicated widely, including on online platform and other media channels.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting;

Supporting the development and implementation of monitoring and evaluation systems and processes at programme and project level. More specifically, this will involve:
Contributing to the development of the IUCN Kenya Intersessional Programme Monitoring and

Evaluation Framework;

In close collaboration with ESARO’s Regional M&E Officer, ensuring that all projects develop and effectively implement M&E frameworks and systems, in line with the overall regional M&E framework;
Portal entries and management
Mid-year and annual reports development
Project evaluation management
Facilitate targeted socio-economic and scientific surveys/analysis of COR

Programme development;

Leading fundraising and resource mobilization for the programme through the development of proposals and maintaining good relationships with donors and funding agencies so as to ensure the financial viability of the programme.
Work with GEF/GCF task manager to develop the portfolio

Other Duties;

• Carry out other relevant tasks assigned by, and mutually agreed with, the line or functional manager

 • Education;
An advanced degree in management of natural resources, environmental economics, marine sciences, political sciences, international cooperation for development, MBA or related fields

• Work Experience;
At least 7-10+ years of proven experience
Demonstrated experience in programme development and fundraising, including experience of development and successful marketing of project proposals with donors, and subsequent delivery and reporting
Demonstrated budgeting, programme and project planning and day-to-day activity coordination abilities
Experience with result based portfolio and project cycle management, monitoring and evaluation methodologies and principles and facilitation skills
Strong interpersonal, management and supervisory skills and experience, including working with remote implementing partners and teams
Demonstrated experience in facilitating the establishment of networks and multi-stakeholder participatory processes
Experience in advocacy and policy influencing

• Language Proficiency;
Excellent verbal and communication skills in English. Good command of Swahili a strong added advantage;

• Core Competencies;
Transparency: Able to build trust and contribute to informed and responsible decision making by carrying out the work of IUCN in a transparent manner; provides clear guidance to ensure that objectives and desired measurable results are understood by members of the team.
Inclusiveness: Understands and accepts cultural diversity, and provide a tolerant, positive and supportive working environment that fosters respect for diversity, demonstrates ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.
Professionalism: Promote the organization’s interests, objectives and values in a diligent and professional manner.
Accountability: Takes responsibility of individual and collective actions, promotes the IUCN One Programme approach.

• Functional competencies;
Computer literacy in relation to office applications (word processing, spreadsheets, powerpoint) use of internet and online communication tools; Expertise in facilitating virtual conferences and workshop a strong advantage.
Be willing to undertake frequent travel (at least 25% of their time) and interact with different stakeholders from diverse cultures.
The ideal candidate will have demonstrated experience and an in-depth understanding of Kenya as well as experience and understanding of neighboring countries, particularly transboundary ecosystems.


Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the “Apply” button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

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